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UK to Build More Gas Power Plants to Avoid Blackouts

The UK will need more gas-fired power plants in the future to avoid blackouts, Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho warned today, as older facilities get retired.

The warning comes amid a review of the country’s energy system that the Conservative government is currently conducting. The review, it seems, has revealed that this system needs baseload generation backup to wind and solar to avoid power outages when wind and solar do not generate.

The BBC quotes critics of the plan as saying that it would interfere with the UK’s emission reduction commitments and that it would also go against plans to have a net-zero grid by 2035.

"The reason the Tories cannot deliver the lower bills and energy security we need is that they are specialists in failure when it comes to our clean energy future," Shadow Energy Secretary Ed Milliband said.

Both biggest parties in the UK are committed to the energy transition by the Conservatives have made some important concessions to energy supply reliability recently, including licensing new oil and gas exploration in the North Sea and now this plan to build more gas-fired electricity generation capacity.

Unlike them, Labour appears set to have a transition at all costs. The party’s most recent move in this direction was to hire Mark Carney, a former Governor of the Bank of England, the Bank of Canada, and the creator of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero.

Carney will help Labour find private investment to the tune of billions to fund its transition ambitions after the current government cut off the possibility of accumulating the billions needed for those ambitions from taxes.

Despite the state plans to have more gas-fired generation, it remains unclear whether any capacity would be built because the transition push has made gas-fired power more expensive because of carbon permits and developers unwilling to risk spending money on a losing venture.

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By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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